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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2/5/14 Health News: Mexico City: Water Torture - Oldest Known Living Cancer - Good Cholesterol can Turn Nasty

Mexico City: Water Torture
In Mexico City, Holy Water is basically just tap water, and it is debatable whether the priest's blessing is enough to rid the water of all the parasites or toxic substances that swarm in it. Continue Trading

Dogs Carry the Oldest Known Living Cancer
Canines are in a rare category when it comes to cancer: They and Tasmanian devils are the only two animals that can transmit it from one individual to another. A new genetic study reveals that the dog form of the cancer, which causes genital tumors, is 11,000 years old—making it the oldest continuously living cancer. Canines can also develop cancers that are akin to human cancers, but their transmissible cancer spreads when cells from one dog's tumor rub off during sexual contact and grow into a new tumor on the other animal. The study notes that the cancer originated in an ancient dog closest to the modern-day breeds of Alaskan malamutes and huskies. Continue Reading

Good Cholesterol can Turn Nasty and Clog Arteries
Good cholesterol also has a nasty side that can increase the risk of heart attacks, according to US doctors. "Good", or HDL, cholesterol normally helps to keep arteries clear and is good for heart health. But the team at the Cleveland Clinic showed it can become abnormal and lead to blocked blood vessels. They say people should still eat healthily, but that the good cholesterol story is a more complex tale than previously thought. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is "bad" because it is deposited in the walls of arteries and causes hard plaques to build up that can cause blockages, resulting in heart attacks and stroke.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is "good" because the cholesterol is instead shipped to the liver. The evidence shows that having a high ratio of good to bad cholesterol is good for health. However, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic say trials aimed at boosting levels of HDL have "not been successful" and the role of good cholesterol is clearly more complicated. In their study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, they showed how HDL cholesterol could become abnormal. One of the researchers, Dr Stanley Hazen, said HDL cholesterol was being modified in the walls of the artery. He told the BBC: "In the artery walls it is acting very differently to in the circulation. It can become dysfunctional, and contributes to the development of heart disease." Continue Reading

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